ABOUT 300 estate agents working for leading estate agent Wendy Machanik Properties cannot receive commission for any transactions concluded this year.

The South Gauteng High Court will deliver judgment tomorrow on an application by the Estate Agency Affairs Board to stop Ms Machanik operating as an estate agent .

The board said yesterday that Wendy Machanik Properties did not have a valid fidelity fund certificate and therefore could not operate this year. The Estate Agents Act requires an agent to have a fidelity fund certificate.

Portia Mofikoe, head of marketing and communications at the Estate Agency Affairs Board, said it had brought a second urgent application to the South Gauteng High Court to stop the agency from operating. Last week, it succeeded in an application to place the agency's trust accounts under curatorship following alleged financial irregularities in the management of the accounts.

Brian Kew, head of the property practice division at Werksmans Attorneys, welcomed the board's action against Ms Machanik . "If funds have been misappropriated, the fidelity fund will pay them out to those who have lost monies."

Mr Kew said the public should not lose faith in estate agents because of one alleged bad egg. "They are an integral part of the property cycle . Things do go wrong in companies."

temkins@bdfm.co.za